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Henry B. L. Webb Autograph Letter signed August 28, 1928.

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Henry B. L. Webb. Autograph letter signed, August 26, 1928, to unidentified addressee, one page on one leaf. Henry Webb, during a hotel stay in France, continues negotiations with literary agents for the film rights to Mary Webb’s novels. As administrator of Mary Webb’s estate, he is bound to “take rather a long view in the interests of other beneficiaries.” He concludes by saying that if Precious Bane is the story wanted by a film company, then £500 “is definitely not nearly enough.” Mary’s mother (Alice Meredith) had died in 1924, and she had arranged in her will for almost all of her £4,000 estate to be put into a fund for Olive (her only unmarried daughter). The five other Meredith siblings were each to have a 20% reversionary interest in case of Olive’s death. Henry apparently recognized the value of Mary’s work and planned to profit from it. Henry wrote a letter to Mary’s siblings in August 1928, proposing that a deed be drawn up in which he would relinquish his rights as widower to Mary’s 20% reversionary interest in family money if the siblings would grant Henry full ownership of the copyrights to Mary’s books (Coles, The Flower of Light, 1978, p. 324).